Charity rides too expensive?

Cambie

Active Member
Location
Brighton
Hi all,

As a newbie to cycling, one of the first things I did was look up some charity ride to enter. The London to Brighton ones and the Pru Ride London-Surrey.

I was gobsmacked at the minimum sponsorship levels. Anywhere from £150 to a whopping £550 for the Ride London - plus entry fee.

I contacted most to see if this was a target or an obligatory payment. BHF have confirmed it is not an obligatory amount and they are grateful for anything raised which to me is in keeping with a charity's nature. The rest have replied with blunt emails stating the full minimum is due and if it is expected not to be met then not to enter or risk having to pay the difference.

What does everyone think of this?
 

w00hoo_kent

One of the 64K
Me? If you want to donate money to a charity, donate money to a charity. If you want to ride a Sportive, give Wiggle/your local club or bike shop some cash and ride a Sportive.

The big 'bucket list' events are hugely over subscribed and so can be used as cash cows but the amount of money spent trying to get money because of it annoys me intensely.
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
It really annoys me that many of these charities hide it away in the small print that if you don't raise the required amount you have to make up the difference. I don't do rides for charity, but if I did it would be for a charity that would be happy for what ever amount I were to raise.

Best thing people can do is vote with their feet and not sign up to them.
 

Roadrider48

Voice of the people
Location
Londonistan
Totally agree with Ian....putting a minimum amount you have to raise is a complete p###take IMHO.
Surely the nature of charity is to be grateful for whatever they can get.
Jus blank those greedy tosssers and support the charity of your choice that is grateful for what they get!
 

w00hoo_kent

One of the 64K
Totally agree with Ian....putting a minimum amount you have to raise is a complete p###take IMHO.
Surely the nature of charity is to be grateful for whatever they can get.
Jus blank those greedy tosssers and support the charity of your choice that is grateful for what they get!
The problem is that the charity pays for the right to have a position to sell to you in the first place. The only one I've seen quoted is £200 a slot for the Ride London. So they have to cover that cost or they are paying for you to ride which aside from being bad economics is probably against their constitution as a charity.
They then arrange other perks for their riders, they probably send you packs on how to raise money, etc. All of this also costs money. They then have to consider, if they spent that per rider cost on something else, say a liveried Chugger outside Cutty Sark DLR, what would the return be? You have to be more valuable to them than that otherwise, again, what's the point. Aside from the advertising pictures, it's all a bit of a gamble, and at the end of the day they are there to make money, not give you a bucket list experience. That's just a side effect of it all.
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
The problem is that the charity pays for the right to have a position to sell to you in the first place. etc etc etc All of this also costs money. etc etc etc
Agree. My beef is not the amount of money these charities want you to raise, rather then they do try and hide the details in the small print. Many a time when I was a Mod here I had to ask Charities that posted rides on the forum to indicate how much had to be raised by an individual and what happened if the amount wasn't reached. Many times I had to ask again and again until I got an answer. That in my book is wrong. A charity wants you to raise how ever much they require, ok that's fine, you make that choice if you want to do the ride. However, be up front about it and don't hide it in the small print.
 

mjr

Comfy armchair to one person & a plank to the next
I'll probably be doing the Sandringham Samaritans charity ride again this year. Something like £10 minimum donation, 14 miles, competition for fancy dress (this year's theme: wizards and witches). North Somerset used to have the fantastic Weston Hospicecare Strawberry Jam which I did a few times and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Bikeathon.

These grassroots charity fun rides predate the modern sportive charity rides and are a world apart. Slowly the sportives are influencing or taking over some charity rides (partly because British Cycling has no category for fun rides, just a sportive-guideline hammer that they use for screws) and so they gain route signs that remain long after the event, helmet and bike rules and sometimes even physical fitness checks that can prevent participation by the very people the beneficiary charity aims to help!

Even though I can ride much further, I prefer the charity fun rides because they're fun. I now rarely give money to people who say "I'm riding 60 miles for ..." because in most cases, they're not, they're expecting others to give money for a day out and a chunk of it will go in unnecessary organisation, motor vehicles, dead trees, marked-up food and so on - sometimes I will give money directly to the charity but I do not wish to encourage those commercial sportive rides. I've heard similar things from other riders. If you want to ride your bike, ride it. If you want to solicit donations, just do that.
What does everyone else think of this? This "everyone else" wonders why: "As a newbie to cycling, one of the first things I did was look up some charity ride to enter"?
Well, charities pay people to get these rides in local media (to encourage more donations) and a condition of signing up to some of the smaller charity rides is that they can put out a press release about you in your local news... two drawbacks are that they often present relatively unremarkable cycling as something unusual and newsworthy, and that new riders think that these freak-shows are a good way to ride further.

Meanwhile, the grassroots groups of Cyclenation, CTC, National Clarion, British Cycling and so on have a rather hard time getting their all-welcome rides listed in local media. It's getting a little easier as local news hooks up to social media more, but not very quickly.</grouch>
 

w00hoo_kent

One of the 64K
I'll probably be doing the Sandringham Samaritans charity ride again this year. Something like £10 minimum donation, 14 miles, competition for fancy dress (this year's theme: wizards and witches). North Somerset used to have the fantastic Weston Hospicecare Strawberry Jam which I did a few times and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Bikeathon.
We did Foulness Island a couple of years ago, again we paid the minimum charitable donation out of our own pockets and did the ride. It sounded like an interesting place to see and a fun thing to do so we paid to do it. I'm fine with that, we look at the cost and decide yes or no. I guess I'm more inclined to do a ride organised by a charity (that was the local Rotary Club I think) than bought in to by one.
 

Dogtrousers

Kilometre nibbler
There exists a ton of sportives, audaxes and other rides that are not over subscribed. So if you want to do a fund raiser, enter one of these, then contact the charity of your choice and say "I'm riding xyz and I'd like to raise some money for you, but I can't guarantee a lot". They will be happy to take your money.

If you don't want to pay an entry fee you could devise your own challenge on open roads and seek sponsorship for that.
 

byegad

Legendary Member
Location
NE England
I used to do one in Durham fairly regularly. Then they wrote to me telling the Durham one was cancelled and my 'local' one would be in Manchester. As their office was in London I asked them how they'd feel if their local one was in Lille? Funnily enough I got no answer.
 
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winjim

✊🏻✊🏾 🌈 😷
The only charity ride I do is a local one run by volunteers to raise money for the village shop!
 
OP
Cambie

Cambie

Active Member
Location
Brighton
Ok so the whole large charity rides sound like a bit of a circus that maybe are best avoided. Totally different to how I naively imagined them to be. That's a shame.

What does everyone else think of this? This "everyone else" wonders why: "As a newbie to cycling, one of the first things I did was look up some charity ride to enter"?
I don't know if I've missed something here but this sounds laced with suspicion and cynicism. Let me explain. I'm new to the world of cycling, as is my wife. We wanted a target to train towards. If we could have an experience to remember and help a charity at the same time then everyone's a winner.
 

ianrauk

Tattooed Beat Messiah
Ok so the whole large charity rides sound like a bit of a circus that maybe are best avoided. Totally different to how I naively imagined them to be. That's a shame.
Not so much a circus but if you want to do a charity ride of choice and are happy with the amount of sponsorship needed then fill your boots and go for it. You would probably have a great time cycling with other like-minded individuals. But be aware of the terms and conditions of the ride and find out where exactly the money is going, how much to charity and how much into their own pockets.
 

Roadrider48

Voice of the people
Location
Londonistan
So the choice is yours Cambie.
Sign up for a ride and agree in advance to meet the required amount either through guaranteed sponsorship or out of you own pocket if the sponsorship thing doesn't work out.
Or, do another one where there is no minimum amount required; or, organise your own.
Whatever floats your boat mate.
 
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